Foundation event in Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel, November 21, 2003
Foundation of the Ken Whyld Association First Stage: Visit to the Bibliotheca Augusta in Wolfenbüttel
About 35 chess friends from near and far had accepted our invitation to travel to Brunswick in order to attend the KWA foundation meeting – the correspondence chess GM and chess dealer Juan Morgado from Buenos Aires undertook the longest journey. The first event, long awaited, was marked by a trip to the famous Duke August Library in Wolfenbüttel (15 kms from Brunswick), the former royal seat of the “Welfen” (i.e. an old German dynasty). This library contains a collection of sources of European book history from the last years of the medieval period to the present, and has evolved into a place of research and study of European cultural history.
A warm welcome by the library director, Prof. Dr. Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, was followed by an introductory lecture of 20 minutes, given in English by Dr. Gillian Bepler. The big library hall provided a truly impressive backdrop with the shelving as an integral part of the architectural concept of the room. Equally overwhelming are the stocks: the library comprises about 850,000 volumes, including about 415,000 printed before 1850, about 3,500 incunabula, 75,000 of the 16th century, 150,000 of the 17th century and 120,000 of the 18th century.
You can get an insight into the history of the Duke August Library by reading the following web page: Short History of the Library (in German only).
The guided tour immediately afterwards, took place in two groups (“English” and “German”) and included, because of the limited time available, only a section of the library. This included the “globe room”, which has a collection of old maps and world maps as well as globes, the room with the chess exhibits naturally became the favourite object of observation.
A copy of “Gustavus Selenus” (Das Schach- oder König-Spiel), the first printed chess book in German, published in 1616, and the accompanying manuscript were in the centre of a small gallery of books and manuscripts with exquisite rarities on the subject of chess and “Rhythmomachia”, the ancient number game.
A massive and simple game board (“folding box”), once in the possession of Duke August, was a further eye-catcher. Surely it was in everyday use and the upper side is equipped with an inlaid chess board. At the bottom there is a nine men’s morris. In the interior were stored the (unfortunately missing) gaming pieces, and the insides are arranged as a tric-trac playing area (“backgammon”).
An exhibit of outstanding importance is the chess table of the German poet and philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (*1/22/1729 †2/15/1781), who lived in Wolfenbüttel from 1770 till his death and who worked as a full-time librarian in the Duke August Library. You may inspect here a transcription of notes about Lessing’s chess table from 1880. This letter was only recently discovered in private ownership and reached the library as a gift of the firm Klittich-Pfankuch: Lessing's Chess Table (in German only).
At the end of the guided tour, which produced an exceedingly positive response from the visitors and which was met with suitable applause, Michael Negele addressed some words of thanks in the name of the Ken Whyld Association and of all participants, to our hosts, Dr. Jill Bepler and Prof. Dr. Helwig Schmidt-Glintzer, as well as to Mr. Roger Klittich, who had so excellently organized this visit.
Foundation of the Ken Whyld Association Second Stage: Foundation Meeting in Brunswick
Back from Wolfenbüttel there was a well-deserved break in the auction house on Theaterwall, which kept the guests happy with beer straight from the wood and additional snacks. As in the meantime even those participants had arrived who had not been able to get to Wolfenbüttel, the foundation meeting started at the auction hall after a small delay, at 17:30 p.m.
Following a short welcome by our host Roger Klittich, Jurgen Stigter gave a first introduction to the Ken Whyld Association, reminding everyone once more of the basic aims and concepts of our association, as they were initially developed by the “Amsterdam-group”. The essential points of this presentation may be recapitulated in the “Marburg Presentation” (see link). In addition Jurgen introduced, with several photos, those members of the “Amsterdam-group” who unfortunately couldn’t get to Brunswick.
Afterwards the four main aims of the KWA, which are also established in this version in our articles, were presented by Michael Negele. These aims met with the general approval of the assembly, so a short-term extension or modification of them doesn’t have to be contemplated.
A (speeded up) brief run through the pages of the KWA website, which was made offline (for technical reasons) by Ralf Binnewirtz, reminded us, amongst other things, of our deceased friends, Ken Whyld and Horst Lüders, who are both acknowledged with a Memorial Page. The webmaster’s successful work was everywhere met with kind applause.
The possibility was demonstrated of installing member websites. An individual internet presence, adapted in the layout of the KWA site, will be offered to interested members for a small fee. More detailed terms have to be agreed with the webmaster.
In his usual practised manner Michael Negele made the main part of the presentation and discussion of the articles. As the details of the statutes may be seen on the KWA homepage, they will not be covered further here.
The nominated board functions were presented by Michael Negele as well as the role of possible further associate members of the board. For the latter the term “co-opted, non-voting members” was proposed by Tony Gillam, which met with general approval. A further suggestion by Rudolf Glenk to distribute the Association’s circulars in future also in printed form was affirmatively received as well.
Afterwards Jurgen Stigter began to speak in order to illuminate the budget / finances of the KWA for the Association’s first year, i.e. 2004. A sound financial basis seems to be ensured by the encouragingly large number of members at the start, possibly supported by additional voluntary contributions.
The following general statements relating to finance were made:
1) To cover possible start up expenses (website, server) the board will endeavour to obtain a minimum of 10 initial donations to the KWA.
2) A software solution (MARK) for the import and export of bibliographical data should be acquired.
3) Owing to the generous sponsorship by the firm Klittich-Pfankuch there would be no expenses for the KWA from the foundation meeting. The reprint of Ken Whyld’s “Chess Reader” will be handed over to the members as an initial gift; the costs of production will be met by Vlastimil Fiala (publisher) and Jurgen Stigter (material costs).
4) Possible remaining profits from the knock-on financing will be added to the current budget of the KWA; possible losses will have to be taken from the club’s finances and covered by the membership fees of 2004.
5) Publications by the KWA may need knock-on financing (for example a fee for translations), which will not completely flow back from the profit. Such projects will be presented to a general meeting which will decide on each one individually.
6) Administration costs have to be kept low (there will be hardly any postal charges due to distribution via email; bank charges must be as low as possible).
The statements of Jurgen Stigter on the subject of the database were restricted (due to lack of time) essentially to a demonstration of different search enquiries and the possible combinations of search keys. At the time of the KWA foundation the online connection from the website to the database or catalogue had not yet been realized. The first book project of the KWA, the publication of a German-language biography on Zukertort, is to be tackled jointly by Thomas Lemanczyk (translator), Tomasz Lissowski and Michael Negele.
Based on the Polish biography on Zukertort by C.W. Domanski and T. Lissowski (Warsaw 2002), Michael Negele discussed a realistic financing scheme for the planned publication.
A (German) publisher has still to be found.
(Postscript: see Publications)
Andreas Saremba undertook to check the possibility of “Book on demand” as a method of publication. Moreover he suggested the electronic storage of historically important chess literature on the website, being free available to all interested parties.
After a break, also used by some participants to confirm their KWA membership by an entry in the membership list, the vote for the founding of the KWA was taken which was unanimous.
Thus the Ken Whyld Association was officially founded.
The election of the board followed confirming the nominated candidates in their positions and this was also unanimous. Besides Jurgen Stigter and Michael Negele the other Board members are Peter Holmgren (deputy chairman), Hans Engberts (treasurer), Roger Klittich (counsel) and Juan Morgado (representative for Latin America). Those present briefly introduced themselves.
A final kind word by Mr. Roger Klittich concluded the meeting. Afterwards, in a friendly get-together, the participants could look back on an eventful day and look forward with interest to the auction the next day.
The first board meeting, planned for immediately after the foundation, had to be postponed because of the reduced time and the departure of Hans Engberts and is planned now for 2003-11-29 in Amsterdam (Jurgen Stigter, Peter Holmgren and Hans Engberts).
In closing we would like to express our sincere thanks to our host, Mrs. Adelheid Klittich-Pfankuch and Mr. Roger Klittich, for the generous hospitality in their house, without which the foundation of the KWA could not have been so successful.
Historical Articles on regional chess events
We are able to present you a lucky find here: a report on the Chess Congress Brunswick 1880, taken from Chess Monthly August, 1880. The chess exhibition in the Brunswick museum at the same time had been equipped with precious exhibits from Wolfenbüttel: Brunswick 1880 (starting in the middle of p 355).
Chess friend Rainer Krämer from Wittmar has kindly offered us the use of an article (including pictures) about chess events in Wolfenbüttel, which he has written for a local history book of the rural district of Wolfenbüttel 2004 and which we herewith would like to pass on to our readers: Chess in Wolfenbüttel (pdf file; in German only); we have arranged the pictures (photos, papers) illustrating this article in a small picture gallery.
Sincere thanks go to Mr. Krämer for his fine chronicle.